The men's lacrosse team kept their momentum going on Saturday, April 7, defeating a tough Oneonta squad 9-5.
Inclement weather conditions forced the game to be moved to Hobart College, where the Knights played on turf instead of their traditional grass surface. Both teams were forced to adapt to the snow slowing down the game in the first half. Geneseo was able to take the game over in the third period, outscoring their opponent five to one. The Knights were sharper, picked up loose balls faster, and created better shots than Oneonta on their road to victory.
Senior midfielder Owahn Bazydlo notched a hat trick for the Knights, scoring his first three goals of the season. Coach Steve Lyons commended the work of his midfielder, who is always the center of attention for opposing defenses. "Owahn has been a dominant offense player, always drawing attention. Like all great players, he has the ability to make all of those around him better," said Lyons of Bazydlo. The top defenseman from the other team always guards Bazydlo, leaving desirable matchups for the rest of the team.
One of the recipients of the mismatches is senior midfielder Colin Ireland, who picked up an assist against Oneonta. "I think teams really focused on Bazydlo in our midfield, giving the other guys a chance to step up and score some goals," said Ireland. "We are a pretty deep team and the younger guys are playing better, which definitely helps."
Lyons added that the team is still searching for consistency, trying to find cohesion on offense. "These three wins in a row have really gotten us back on track, especially considering the adversity that we went through at the beginning of the season," he said. Oneonta has always been among the top three teams in the division, and getting this win is a definite boost of confidence for the team.
The men kept their winning streak going on Wednesday, April 11 by beating the Golden Eagles of Brockport. Bazydlo scored two goals and assisted on another, and Ireland also scored twice as the Knights won 8-6. Hanover scored his 16th goal of the year, sophomore attacker Tom Costanza scored his first goal of the season, and sophomore attacker Dan Balestra also notched a goal for the Knights. The team was able to keep constant pressure on their opponent, firing a total of 53 shots with 26 of them going on net. Junior midfielder Tim McDermott continued his domination on face-offs, winning 15 of 18 draws. "McDermott is one of the best face-off men in the nation, and his work is vital to our control of the ball" said Lyons. The Knights are now 4-3 on the season, and have won both of their conference games so far.
Also on Saturday, the Lady Knights bounced back from their loss last Wednesday to St. John Fisher to crush division rival Oswego by the score of 19-8. The women were able to crack Oswego's zone defense, winning one-on-one matchups and taking the ball to the goal. Even though they were dealing with wintry conditions during warm ups, the team was able to stay focused and get ready for the game. "It was good to win our first division game, especially scoring 19 goals. We came back from a painful loss against St. John Fisher and will use this momentum as we move forward," said Ritchlin. The women were able to control the ball and stayed mentally tough.
"We have a run and gun offense, and we look to get up early. We would much rather prefer to be ahead than to have to come back," said Ritchlin of their style of play. The team has enough speed to take risks in the offensive zone and still get back to play defense, something that can frustrate opponents.
Senior Maggie Benham scored seven goals for the Knights, fueling their offense. Seniors Emily Ward and Megan Hilts each scored three goals, and Hilts also led the team with two assists. The team has been working on patience and creating better shot opportunities, and were successful in both departments against Oswego.
The women next faced Brockport on April 10, losing 12-7. The game was close in the first half, with the Knights trailing 4-3 at intermission. However, Brockport came out sharper in the second, outscoring Geneseo 8-4. Benham scored two goals for the Knights, giving her 17 on the season. Junior midfielder Colleen Byrne also chipped in two goals, and sophomore attacker Laura Kitts, Ward, and junior midfielder Shauna Leonard each scored a goal. Kitts and Ward also picked up an assist each. The team now sits at 4-2 overall, with a 1-1 record in the division.